What draws people and businesses to a community? How can we build a sustainable economic future?
These are the questions explored on Economic Development Matters, a new podcast from Edmonton Global. Hosted by Brianna Morris, Manager of Policy and Global Competitiveness and Sherri Bouslama, Manager of Brand Strategy and Communications, the podcast explores policy, economic news, and strategies related to economic development. The podcast will host industry experts and guests from across Canada and around the world to explore these topics.
Recently, we sat down with Brianna and Sherri to learn more about what we can expect from the show.
Why did you decide to start this podcast?
Brianna: Globally, we’ve seen foreign direct investment (FDI) slow down because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Competing for investment globally is already challenging for cities and regions our size – it’s important that we talk about what cities and regions can do to attract investment and why it matters.
Sherri: Exactly. No community wants to be left behind. We all want to ensure our communities are thriving. Global competition is fierce. We created this podcast as a forum to talk about economic development at both a global and local level – where people most feel its impact.
What distinguishes you from other podcasts in the market? Is it about the Edmonton region?
B: We are both heavily invested in the Edmonton region. I have my family here; I have my career here. So yes, we will use examples and personal experiences from our home, but we’re also bringing a global perspective, especially through some of our guests. I find these topics compelling, yet few podcasts about these topics exist.
S: While Brianna and I are both heavily invested in this community, we also have different lenses with which we see the world – especially when it comes to politics. But we both agree on the fact that economic development doesn’t need to be a partisan issue. We both want to build a region that our kids don’t need to leave in order to find success. Our backgrounds are also different, Brianna has a background in public policy, and I have one in public relations and communications. Adding in the additional voices of our guests can make for some interesting conversations.
Who should listen to your podcast?
B: Everyone! Everyone has a role to play in economic development: the private sector, post-secondary institutions, government, non-profits, and members of our community. Economic development impacts everyone. It goes beyond simple job creation and includes sustainability, economic, social and governance issues, and affects our everyday quality of life.
S: I agree. There are a ton of interesting things taking place here in our region and around the world that are driven or enabled through economic development. One of the best parts of my job is being able to share those kinds of stories. I love how Innovate Edmonton speaks about innovation here as solving some of the world’s greatest challenges – this is exciting stuff. We don’t always connect what’s happening here to what is happening globally – and this podcast is one way to do just that.
What makes what is happening here unique?
B: The Edmonton region was one of the first in Canada to use a regional approach to economic development rather than a municipal approach. And beyond our 14 municipalities, there’s a spirit of collaboration that exists here. Edmonton Global has amazing partnerships with stakeholders from across the region, working together to advance our economic future. This collaborative spirit makes us unique, and, I think, much stronger than some jurisdictions.
It sounds like this could be an exciting way to get to know the region and opportunities it presents.
S: We hope so. So often, economic development work is seen as just meeting with investors. But there’s a lot more involved. When we look at the marketing and communications side of economic development, it really is about telling the story of a city or region. What are our local success stories? What is happening here that is important to share? Why is the Edmonton region a great place to live, work and build a business? How can we share the story of what is happening here loud enough for the world to hear? We’re excited and grateful for the opportunity to share these stories and link them to global issues that should be relevant to communities around the world.